Yes, the HP Slate 500 is officially backordered, less than a month after its enterprising debut, and Hewlett-Packard claims it's because of "extraordinary demand," a phrase that's presently not quantifiable. The long and short of it, though, is that you're not getting one by Yuletide if you purchase the pricey portable today, as you'll have to wait six weeks until they're ready to ship out. Still, if your budding business bought in on day one, there's still a chance it might arrive in time -- ours is due to our door in early December, if that gives you any idea. We've pinged HP for comment, and hope to hear back soon. We'll be sure to let you know just how "extraordinary" those sales numbers might be.

Update: We've yet to hear back from HP proper, but a trusted tipster with a contact inside HP spun us a very interesting tale -- HP reportedly only ever planned a limited production run of 5,000 units, and received orders for 9,000 instead. When demand outstripped supply, HP apparently had to re-hire production workers just to get the presses printing out tablets again, and are presently placating angry customers by offering them over $100 off their $800 purchase as apology.

[Thanks, Dan]